Auris Medical Stock Soars With Promising COVID-19 Nasal Spray Results
Auris Medical rose by as much as 480% yesterday after it announced lab test results, which appeared to show that its nasal spray could potentially protect users against COVID-19, according to Business Insider.
The Bermuda-based clinical stage company exhibited its positive efficacy data from testing AM-301 in vitro. Researchers specifically looked at AM-301 for its capability to prevent or mitigate SARS-CoV-2 infection of nasal epithelial cells, which are part of the nasal mucosa.
The nasal mucosa is the first barrier against continuously inhaled substances, such as allergens and pathogens. Auris medical performed an experiment over the course of four days, focusing on reconstituted human nasal epithelia. These are frequently utilized to examine the effects of human respiratory viruses. The researchers found that in the saline-treated control cultures, SARS-CoV-2 replicated efficiently. However, daily treatment with AM-301, beginning before inoculation, appeared to protect against viral infection.
Approximately 48 hours post-infection, average virus titers were 90% lower than those observed in controls. About 72 hours and 96 hours post-infection, average virus titers were 99.2% and 99.4% lower, respectively. More importantly, even when an unbound virus was not removed daily through apical washing, allowing it to accumulate over four days, the reduction in viral titer was 92.4% compared to the saline-treated controls.
“We are very excited to see the protective effects of AM-301 against Sars-CoV-2 confirmed in an assay that very closely replicates real-life conditions in the human nose,” said Thomas Meyer, Auris Medical’s founder, Chairman and CEO. “Our first experiments in September showed that AM-301’s key component trapped up to 99% of Sars-CoV-2 when brought into contact with a viral suspension. Now, with our newly developed spray formulation, we have direct evidence that AM-301 has the potential to significantly mitigate the risk of infection of nasal mucosal cells. We look forward to taking AM-301 through additional tests and advancing the program towards the submission of regulatory applications in 2021.”
AM-301 is a drug-free nasal spray that forms a protective gel layer on the nasal mucosa, which helps prevent the contact of viruses and other pathogens and allergens. However, it is not the only one that may help control the spread of COVID-19. Researchers from the University of Birmingham, UK, announced back in November that they had also developed a nasal spray that could potentially protect against the disease.
The team from the Healthcare Technologies Institute developed the product using compounds that have already been approved by regulatory authorities in the UK, Europe and the U.S. This suggests that they are safe for humans.
"This spray is made from readily available products that are already being used in food products and medicines, and we purposely built these conditions into our design process,” said researcher Dr. Richard Moakes, at the time of the announcement. “It means that, with the right partners, we could start mass production within weeks. Products like these don't replace existing measures such as mask wearing and handwashing, which will continue to be vital to preventing the spread of the virus. What this spray will do, however, is add a second layer of protection to prevent and slow virus transmission."
A pre-print study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, goes in-depth into the cell culture that tested the product. Thus far, the research has shown that the spray can significantly suppress the infection of cell cultures that encounter live viruses.